Spirit of JacksonvilleREAD ONLINE
New Pangburn mayor pushes for expansionOriginally Published May 2, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 1, 2013 at 11:22 a.m.
PANGBURN Newly appointed Pangburn Mayor Todd Slayton is a familiar face to many in town.
Slayton, 36, has lived in the city for close to nine years with his wife, Angie, and their children, Erica and Stone.
Born in Springfield, Mo., and raised 20 miles north of Pangburn in Ida, Slayton first became involved in Pangburn city government six years ago when he was elected as an alderman.
Now Slayton is taking on his biggest role in local government yet, filling in for the remaining 20 months of former Mayor Gary Doyle’s term. Doyle resigned in late March because of health concerns.
“Gary Doyle did an exceptional job,” Slayton said. “Our prayers are with him. I hope I can do as good a job as he did.”
Slayton was appointed to the position by the City Council after a special election was deemed too costly for the small town’s budget. Once Slayton serves the remaining 20 months of the four-year term, a general election will be held for mayor. Slayton said he will make a decision closer to that time on whether he will run for the office.
For now, Slayton is focused on making the most of his time in office. His major goals include organizing the effort to annex additional land surrounding the city.
“Right now, we’re landlocked with no room for growth since we’re limited by a county line and the river,” Slayton said.
He said there are hundreds of people on the city’s water and mail routes who are not in the city limits because of the current boundaries.
“They get fire protection but no police, and we’d like to offer them that,” Slayton said. “The additional land would mean access for new business and maybe allow us to establish a chamber of commerce.”
Slayton said the majority of people he has spoken to who live in White or Cleburne County near Pangburn are in favor of being annexed.
“We’re still in discussion with the council over annex plans and how to approach it,” Slayton said.
Additional growth could eventually attract more families to the area. Slayton said he considers Pangburn an excellent community to live in, thanks to its schools and active city life.
“One misconception is that we don’t have the necessities,” Slayton said. “But we have a hardware store, auto store,
Dollar General, grocery store, several restaurants and a feed store. … We’re a great, self-sufficient place.”
In addition to his part-time mayor role, Slayton works as a representative for Modern Woodmen financial services, with an office in downtown Pangburn overlooking the city’s veterans memorial. The location makes it easy for Slayton to stay in touch with the community, and he and his family have been active in the community for years, helping with events such as the annual Fourth of July Festival.
This Saturday, Slayton will be on hand to help kick off Pangburn’s Spring Fling, shooting the pistol to start the event’s 5K race. Spring Fling will begin at 9 a.m. at Pangburn City Park and will include music, a youth fishing derby and a prescription-drug take-back held by the city.
Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Features Editor Emily Van Zandt can be reached at 501-399-3688 or email@example.com.